American finance bigwigs Jefferies and Cantor Fitzgerald have reportedly agreed to settle a London lawsuit after a years-long battle that centred around a mass migration of bankers between the firms in multiple locations.
It brings an almost three year lawsuit to an end, after Jefferies first filed a lawsuit in London against the brokerage and three bankers in its power, energy and infrastructure group in December 2018.
The sum of the settlement has not yet been disclosed, according to Bloomberg, who first reported the news.
Jefferies filed the lawsuit about a year after 26 of its bankers across its offices in New York, London and Hong Kong suddenly resigned from its energy coverage team on the same day in November 2017.
Adding salt to the wound, the bankers were lured to Cantor by Jefferies’ former star banker Sage Kelly, who himself made the jump to Cantor in 2016 and now leads its investment bank.
Cantor attempted to dismiss the London suit last year, but lost.
It comes after Jefferies had accused Cantor of making a “concerted global effort” to prevent the bankers from repaying the bonuses that it said it was due from them.
Cantor updated and refiled its defense earlier this year to admit that it had “induced” the bankers not to repay the bonuses in question, but it “denied that it acted unlawfully in so doing.”
Although it’s been common for brokers to turn to UK courts to object to rivals poaching their staff, it’s more unusual for a bank to do so.
London courts have been lawsuit location of choice for several high profile squabbles and their eventual settlements in recent years, for example BGC and Tradition’s $35m mid-trial settlement over the poaching of a leading team in 2019.
Jefferies declined to comment, and Cantor did not respond to requests for comment.